Photo via Pixabay
Autumn is wonderful in New York City because you can finally take the subway without getting smushed up against someone’s back sweat. It’s wonderful outside New York City because you can take in the changing leaves and crisp air, and there are few places better to do that than a local farm. Some of the best spots near town offer apple and pumpkin picking, in addition to a slew of other fall-ready activities, making it easy to bring some of autumn home with you (as well as to enjoy the great outdoors a short distance from the city smog). Ahead, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite spots.
1. Lawrence Farms Orchards
306 Frozen Ridge Road, Newburgh, NY
This family-run farm located just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan has been hosting apple-and-pumpkin-picking folks for over three decades now. From August through October, a $5 entry fee gets you access to the farm and orchards, plus you get a $2 credit towards any purchases (kids under two enter for free). The farm’s also got other produce, hay bale mazes, and a “Little Village” filled with child-sized farmhouses to play in.
2. Barton Orchards
63 Apple Tree Lane, Poughquag, NY
This Poughquag farm offers up over 100 acres of apple orchards with produce ripe for the picking (for a fee, of course), in addition to a pumpkin patch, farmer’s market, petting zoo, and taproom. Weekday admission is free; it’s $15 on the weekends, but the fee grants you access to a bevy of fall activities, including hayrides, a haunted house, a corn maze, and live music. The orchards also host a number of fall-ready events, including an Oktoberfest, a Boos and Brews, and a Harvest Fair.
3. Dubois Farms
209 Perkinsville Road, Highland, NY
This first-generation family-owned Highland farm has 54 acres of produce-producing land, which includes a pumpkin patch and an apple orchard. The farm’s also got a bakery, a market and cafe, a corn maze, weekend barbecues, tractor-pulled wagon rides, a child-sized “Tiny Town,” and a tavern serving hard cider, craft beer, and wine. The farm is about a two-hour drive from Manhattan.
4. Fishkill Farms
9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY
I am personally attached to this farm, located just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan—my grandparents used to live just down the road from it when it was owned by former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, and I spent much of my childhood playing in its hayfields and eating cinnamon doughnuts with apple cider purchased at its farm stand. Today’s iteration is run by Joshua Morgenthau, and it’s much like it was when I was a child, focusing on sustainable farming and offering apple and pumpkin picking to visitors in the fall months.
5. Apple Ridge Orchards
101 Jessup Road, Warwick, NY
This Warwick farm, which takes about two hours to get to from Manhattan by car, has a gorgeous pick-your-own pumpkin patch, in addition to a slew of apple trees (they say they’ve got up to 20 varieties of apple) and peach trees in the summer. Admission to the farm is free, though apples run about $29 per half-bushel; a visit to the pumpkin patch runs $10, but the price includes one pumpkin of any size. The orchards also have hayrides, farm animals you can feed and pet, a corn maze, honey bee hives, and a farm stand where you can purchase cider and apple-themed desserts.
6. Jenkins-Lueken Orchards
69 Yankee Folly Road, New Paltz, NY
This New Paltz orchard, located about a two-hour drive from Manhattan, kicks off its apple picking season in early September, granting visitors access to its more than 500 apple trees. You can pick bags by the peck or half-bushel, and pick pumpkins from their patches for 40 cents a pound. There’s also a farm stand where you can purchase produce, cider, and baked goods, among other farm-ready items.
7. VonThun Farms
438 Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882
519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
VonThun Farms has two locations in New Jersey, both of which offer apple and pumpkin picking during Spooky Season. In South Brunswick, you can pick apples and pumpkins daily, with produce priced a la carte. In Washington, NJ, apple and pumpkin picking is open Tuesday through Sunday; admission to pick is $5, though $3 goes toward your produce purchase. Both farms have corn mazes and other autumnal activities to amplify the seasonal fun.
8. Wightman Farms
1111 Mt. Kemble Avenue, Morristown, NJ
This nearly century-old family-owned farm has hayrides, multiple mazes, and a fun picnic play area, in addition to pumpkin and apple-picking. The latter has a $7 fee for picking, which includes orchard admission and a tote bag, plus you pay per apple. If you want a pumpkin, you’ll have to spring for the $16 Farm Sampler, which includes maze and hayride access—you can upgrade to the $20 Ultimate Farm Experience for both pumpkins and apples, which I highly recommend doing.
9. Wilkins Fruit and Fir Farm
1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights, NY
This Yorktown Heights farm, located about an hour’s drive from Manhattan, offers apple, pumpkin, and peach picking, with apple season kicking off in September and pumpkins arriving in October. To enter the apple orchard, you’ve got to commit to half-a-peck per person, or half a bushel per three to 4 adults, though you get a hay and wagon ride out of the deal, too. The pumpkin patch is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for all of October, with pumpkins priced a la carte.
Photo courtesy of Queens County Farm Museum
10. Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, Queens
The Queens County Farm Museum is New York City’s finest apple-procuring and pumpkin-picking establishment, boasting a long tradition of permitting urbanites to pretend they live somewhere rural for five minutes. The 47-acre farm has a pumpkin patch open during weekends, and though you can’t exactly pick apples on the premises, you can purchase them (and apple pie, and apple cider) at the farmstand. More importantly, you can visit the famed corn maze and pet some farm animals, which is really the most essential portion of any autumnal farm visit.
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